SURVIVAL PLAN: Solar set for its day in the sun
The solar panel boom of 2012 ended abruptly when the Government pulled the plug on subsidies - but the story didn’t end there.
For free electricity from sunshine remained a compelling offer to those who use a lot of it.
Custom Solar in Chesterfield is installing bigger and bigger systems for companies with huge roofs, such as Associated British Ports which runs 21 ports in the UK.
At Immingham on the Humber it fitted 15,900 panels on ABP’s huge warehouses, saving 1,914 tonnes of CO2 a year. They power cranes, conveyors, lock gates and offices, with a small amount exported to the national grid.
Separately, the company is about to start work on a 22,500 panel system and is in the planning stages of a 13 megawatt system of 45,000 panels.
Boss Matthew Brailsford said some existing set ups were providing firms with 100 per cent of their electricity in summer.
But saving money wasn’t the main driver. Reducing carbon emissions and energy security, as demand for electricity soars, were now key.
He added: “If you have an electric fleet it doesn’t make sense not to generate your own power. Solar, wind and batteries underpin the industrial revolution we are going through. The endgame is solar everywhere, including on houses.
“It’s a good thing. When we at Custom Solar are done we’ll know we have changed things, we played our part.”
The 40-strong company has just bought another building with room for 40 staff.